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Re: News from Greece

Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 11:28 pm
by Ariel
German NGOs suspected of smuggling migrants into Greece, dozens of arrests made

Greece and Italy are accusing German NGOs of being part of a massive human smuggling ring, resulting in dozens charged in Greek police operation

Greek authorities suspect that four German civil society organizations are working with Turkish smugglers to assist illegal migrants to avoid sea patrols and land on the Greek islands, resulting in the arrest of 35 NGO activists last week.

Since the detention of the suspects by Greek authorities, new details are emerging about the case.

According to Greek portal Proto Thema, four pro-migrant NGOs based out Germany, Norway, and Austria, with Mare Liberum, Sea Watch, FFM, and Josoor International Solidarity becoming the targets of a large-scale police investigation. Their vessels are operating in the vicinity of Lesbos, one of the most popular destinations for illegal migrants since the beginning of the refugee crisis in 2015.

Officially, the organizations aim to save migrants in distress during their sea voyage, however, both Greece and Italy accuse these organizations of acting as a “taxi service” which works with smugglers picking migrants up in agreed locations, claiming that they are picking up the victims of sea disasters.

Many illegal migrants who arrive in Turkey attempt to reach Greece and the EU via the Eastern Mediterranean, and while the Greek authorities are doing everything in their power to stop them, many migrants successfully enter the EU.

According to Polish news outlet Niezalezna, the Greek authorities accuse the German NGOs of spying on government sea patrols, border patrols and the EU’s border control agency Frontex.

Prosecutors allege that members of these NGOs are placing law enforcement services under surveillance to listen in on communications and then conveying the information uncovered to Turkish smugglers to help them evade sea patrols. The activists are also helping the vessels to evade border patrols and advising them on the best places to land.

Authorities believe these activists gained access to closed Turkish government websites and communications with stolen passcodes, and used that information to help smugglers as well.

Greek police stage undercover operation
According to Greek media, the investigation has been ongoing for months. Authorities had uncovered a set of maps on the Mare Liberum vessel on which points of departure from Turkey are marked and the landing sites in Lesbos.

Greek law enforcement services have also performed undercover investigations inside Turkey. Agents, posing as illegal migrants, have come into contact with the NGOs and uncovered that they are directly working with the smugglers.

The investigations by the Greeks has allowed the authorities to file 35 charges against the employees of these NGOs. They are accused of assisting in at least 32 illegal border crossings which resulted in the arrival of 3,000 illegal migrants.

The Greeks also want to uncover the way these organizations are financed to discover if there is any funding from the Turkish smugglers. In order to make a determination, they will need assistance from Germany, which is where these NGOs are registered.

Re: News from Greece

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 2:56 pm
by Ariel
Greek Police Find Alleged Islamic State Jihadist in Migrant Camp

Police in the Greek capital of Athens have arrested a 27-year-old Syrian migrant who they say is an Islamic State jihadist involved in terrorist acts.

The alleged jihadist was taken into custody by counter-terrorism forces at the Eleonas camp migrant camp where he was living with his wife and five children.

Said to have entered Greece in March of 2018, the 27-year-old applied for asylum alongside his wife and children and wanted to pass into another western European country, Greek newspaper Proto Thema reports.

Prosecutors have accused the Syrian of taking part in terrorist activities with the Islamic State and charged him with being a member of a terrorist group and manslaughter.

The Syrian can allegedly be seen in a 2014 video showing the persecution of the Al-Shi’itat, a group of people native to the Deir ez-Zor area of Syria.

The arrest of the Syrian comes just weeks after another suspected Islamic State member was arrested in the city of Tripoli. the suspected jihadist, a migrant from Tajikistan, had been living in the city for three years in a house he acquired with the help of a pro-migration NGO.

Greece has seen a number of Islamic State members come to the country thought illegal migration routes since the migrant crisis began in earnest in 2015, with many travelling through the country to other European Union member-states and Britain.

Islamic State fighters and other Jihadists have been arrested in Germany, Italy and elsewhere after coming to the European Union illegally, with a recent case involving a Tunisian migrant who killed three people earlier this month in a church in Nice.

Earlier this month, Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis admitted that the country had lost track of over 32,000 failed asylum seekers.

Re: News from Greece

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:43 pm
by Ariel
Migrants clash in reception centre, 24 taken to hospital

More than 600 migrants clashed on Monday night at the Pournara reception centre, which is bursting at the seams, and 35 people were injured as a result, police said on Tuesday.

The trouble started shortly after 11pm after an internal barrier was breached and migrants of different nationalities clashed. Police could not immediately say what the reason of the fight was.

According to a police spokesman, some of the migrants threw stones and were armed with iron bars.

Police intervened and managed to break up the fight after calling in reinforcements.

Several cars were damaged, some belonging to police and some to other services.

Police said 35 people were slightly injured, 24 of whom were taken to Nicosia general hospital.

Authorities said the centre was currently hosting around 1,500 migrants while it has a capacity for 1,000.

In the meantime, more irregular migrants arrived during the night.

An inflatable boat with 21 young men on board coming from the Turkish coast approached Pyrgos at around 11pm on Monday.

Police stopped the vessel and towed it to the fishing shelter of Kato Pyrgos shortly before 2am.

Two of the men believed to be traffickers were arrested while the other 19 will be transferred to a reception facility.